Steve Cummings seals national time trial-road race double; Lizzie Deignan wins women's title - Road Cycling UK

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Steve Cummings seals national time trial-road race double; Lizzie Deignan wins women’s title

Cummings solos to victory in men's race; Deignan reclaims jersey with late attack in women's race

Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) became the first man in ten years to win both the national time trial and road race titles after soloing to victory in the latter on the Isle of Man.

Cummings, tasked to prove his form and fitness after a ten-week injury lay-off, is now likely to take the national champion’s jersey to next month’s Tour de France after bolting clear from the front group with 10km to go.

Lizzie Deignan claimed her fourth women’s title, meanwhile, winning solo earlier in the day to add the 2017 title to her wins in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

Steve Cummings became the first man since 2007 to win the national time trial and road race titles (pic – Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

Cummings had joked before the nationals that his task was to win at least one race in order to book his place at the Tour de France, having not raced since crashing out of April’s Tour of the Basque Country.

But the Dimension Data rider proved his form in spectacular fashion, following up Thursday’s time trial win with a perfectly-timed attack on the demanding Manx course.

Chris Lawless (Axeon-Hagens Berman) finished second, 40 seconds in arrears, to claim the under-23 title, while Ian Bibby (JLT-Condor) crossed in third place.

Local favourite, and two-time former winner, Peter Kennaugh finished 48 seconds back in fourth place, while fellow Manxman Mark Cavendish finished outside the time limit.

Lizzie Deignan celebrates her fourth national road race title (pic – Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)

In the women’s race, meanwhile, Deignan attacked late from a four-strong front group – including long-time solo leader Elinor Barker – to claim victory.

Katie Archibald (Team WNT) finished second, while defending champion Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) was third – Barker holding on for fourth place.

The men’s race was punctuated by attacks, with several big groups spending time up the road at various stages of the early parts of the race.

Defending champion Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport) and Movistar’s Alex Dowsett – himself looking to secure a Tour de France berth, having been named in his team’s longlist – were both in the first 20-strong group to go clear.

Alex Dowsett goes on the attack in the men’s race (pic – Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

Team Sky were not represented, however, and it was little surprise to see them reeled in before a new, smaller group went clear – this time including Ian Stannard (Team Sky), Dowsett and James Shaw (Lotto-Soudal) among others.

Stannard, Dowsett and Shaw were joined by Lawless, Graham Briggs (JLT-Condor) and Scott Davies (Team Wiggins) and boasted a small lead, and their group swelled as more and more counter-attacks were launched.

Steve Cummings, national champion, pic - Simon Wilkinson-SWpix.com
Lizzie Deignan, national champion, pic - Simon Wilkinson-SWpix.com

Kennaugh, Cummings and Bibby all bridged across, and they were soon also joined by Team Sky neo-pros Tao Geoghegan Hart and Jon Dibben, Scott Thwaites (Dimension Data), Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates) and Tom Moses (JLT-Condor).

Swift and Kennaugh animated the move on the finishing circuit, and whittled the lead group down to five by the time they crossed the finishing line for the penultimate time but when Cummings attacked there was no catching him.

Steve Cummings closes in on victory after going solo in the final 10km (pic – Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com)

His lead simply opened up, as he continued where he left off in the time trial on Thursday to claim his first senior national road race title, having been crowned junior champion some 18 years ago.

Lawless outsprinted Bibby for second place, while only 12 riders actually finished inside the time cut in all.

In the women’s race, Barker was part of a three-strong leading group which formed on Snaefell Mountain, bridging across to solo leader Manon Lloyd (Team Breeze) with local favourite Anna Christian (Drops).

Deignan and Barnes were both in the group chasing behind, but when Barker attacked on the finishing circuit with 35km still to race the chasers struggled to make inroads into her lead.

With nobody wanting to drag the pre-race favourites to the finish line either, there was little co-operation in the group behind, only playing into Barker’s hands.

Elinor Barker was solo leader for much of the final part of the women’s race (pic – Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

But Deignan finally launched a telling counter-attack, with Archibald and Barnes on her wheel, finally catching Barker on the final lap.

And Deignan was not for waiting around, attacking immediately to reclaim the blue, white and red-striped jersey.

Barker paid for her effort as Barnes and Archibald gave chase – the latter outsprinting the defending champion to claim second – with the Welsh rider finishing fourth.

Melissa Lowther (Team Breeze) finished fifth, 1’28” behind, to claim the under-23 title, meanwhile.

Lizzie Deignan’s attack continued her run of victories in every other year – she has been national champion in 2011, 2013, 2015 and now 2017 (pic – Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

British National Road Race Championships – results

Men
1) Steve Cummings – Dimension Data – 4.28.49hrs
2) Chris Lawless – Axeon-Hagens Berman +40” [U23 winner]
3) Ian Bibby – JLT-Condor – ST
4) Peter Kennaugh – Team Sky +48”
5) Ben Swift – UAE Team Emirates +2.17
6) Ian Stannard – Team Sky +3.03
7) Scott Thwaites – Dimension Data +3.44
8) Tao Geoghegan Hart – Team Sky +4.43
9) Graham Briggs – JLT-Condor +6.17
10) Alex Dowsett – Movistar – ST

Women
1) Lizzie Deignan – Boels-Dolmans – 2.44.18hrs
2) Katie Archibald – Team WNT +14”
3) Hannah Barnes – Canyon-SRAM – ST
4) Elinor Barker – Matrix Fitness +17”
5) Melissa Lowther – Team Breeze +1.28
6) Neah Evans – Storey Racing – ST
7) Manon Lloyd – Team Breeze
8) Hayley Simmonds – Team WNT
9) Anna Christian – Drops
10) Ellie Dickinson – Team Breeze +8.34

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